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Contact: Jason Smith / (609) 693-6700
December 11, 2009
Connors & Rumpf Veteran Rental Assistance Initiative Passes Senate

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Legislation (S-2182) introduced by Senator Christopher J. Connors and Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf (both R-Ocean/Burl./Atl.) that would require a portion of tenant-based assistance vouchers under the State Rental Assistance Program be reserved for grants to veterans was passed by the State Senate.

“The changes to the State Rental Assistance Program provided for under our legislation would expand the state’s efforts to veterans who are struggling financially by helping them obtain housing that is affordable,” said Senator Connors who currently serves on the Senate Law and Public Safety and Veterans Affairs Committee. “By establishing this requirement solely for veterans, we can ensure that a greater number of those who have served our country in the Armed Forces will receive the housing assistance offered under this existing program.  With its bipartisan sponsorship and today’s overwhelming support shown in the Senate, our Delegation sincerely hopes this measure will remain a priority in the Lame Duck Session and ultimately be signed into law.”

The State Rental Assistance Program was established for low-income individuals or households.   Currently, a portion of the grants available under the Program are reserved specifically for veterans who have completed the Veterans Transitional Housing Program known as “Veterans Haven.” This is a vocational and transitional housing program for homeless veterans, which is administered by the State’s Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs.

“Stepping up services for veterans through existing programs that are already operating is the most efficient and cost effective approach, which is especially important in these difficult economic times that are straining our state’s finances,” remarked Assemblyman Rumpf.  “As a result of the recession, more individuals, including veterans, are continuing to experience financial hardships, which include being able to find housing.  Out of respect for their service to our country, it is appropriate for the state to amend eligibility guidelines for the rental assistance program so that more veterans are closer to the front of the line to receive a benefit that they should be entitled to.”

Presently, A-3182, the companion measure to S-2182, is lodged in the Assembly Housing and Local Government Committee.

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